Journalists at the BBC have aggregated data from 207 authorities in the United Kingdom responsible for managing public libraries and found that the number of libraries and library jobs are in decline. The BBC’s analysis revealed that, over the past six years, 343 public libraries closed, higher than the government’s estimate of 110 closings, with another 111 planned closures this year. In addition, the total number of paid library staff has fallen by 25 percent over this same time period, a loss of 7,933 jobs, with many libraries increasingly relying on unpaid volunteers. BBC obtained the data via Freedom of Information Act requests and has made it available on GitHub.
Tracking the Decline of Libraries in the UK
Joshua New was a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life.
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